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Wacom's new initiative through soccer

As an official partner, Wacom supports FC KAZO, a soccer club in Kazo City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan. We’re excited to introduce our new initiatives with this inspiring club.

 

FC KAZO is a soccer club in Kazo City, Saitama Prefecture, where Wacom's head office is also located. Under the team's motto "From Kazo City to the World," the club aims to contribute to the local community through soccer and other sports. Wacom empathized with their philosophy and has been working with FC KAZO since 2019 as an official partner. We asked Yoshinori Mita and Takashi Kamatsuka about Wacom’s new initiative with their local soccer club.

 

What made you decide to join FC KAZO's partner program?

Yoshinori:
One day, the owner of FC KAZO came to our head office and asked me if we were interested in supporting them as a partner. Like many other soccer clubs, FC KAZO wanted to team up with a local business to get more supporters involved and help the club. I especially resonated with the owner’s enthusiasm to increase involvement in volunteering and organizing events for the community to gain more support for local teams. At that time, Wacom happened to announce that they were accepting proposals from employees to support a project. As a team member of the general affairs department, I wanted to do something for the community. Working with FC KAZO would allow us to connect with the local community as well as have our products used in public sectors, local offices and schools in the future. I decided to start working on a project with Takashi, a member of the sales team.

Takashi:
I was interested in giving back to society and thought Wacom would be a great choice to promote such initiatives, so I decided to participate in the project right away. I have a child and felt connected to FC KAZO's activities for children as well. As a company, I felt that Wacom have a duty to society, and this was the pergect opportunity for Wacom to get involved in the community.

Yoshinori:
Takashi and I met when we were both working in the sales team. We also both belonged to Wacom’s soccer team. Takashi has ties to Saitama, which was just one of many reasons he was the perfect fit for this project.

Takashi:
The conditions were all set! I feel this project really aligns to my beliefs and it's also very rewarding.

 

Please tell us what it means to be an official partner.

Yoshinori:
There were various partner programs, and this time we chose to publish our logo on the FC KAZO’s staff jersey.

Takashi:
We’re talking about the staff jerseys here, not the uniforms. That’s important to remember!

Yoshinori:
Yes, FC KAZO is actively involved in Kazo City’s local communities and they organize initiatives like holding soccer classes at nursery schools and kindergartens and participating in local events. These activities are supported by the staff; therefore the staff jerseys are a great way of supporting these projects and the local community more closely. We also wanted to get the word out about Wacom to the local community.

 

You’re saying that you proposed a new initiative that goes beyond the official partner program. Is that right?

Yoshinori:
Yes, we suggested that we could display our products at the venue during the soccer tournament. We wanted to make FC KAZO even stronger with Wacom's technology.A long time ago, Wacom produced a pen display called VisiCoach, which was used for coaching soccer and other sports. By utilizing this pen display, it’s possible to write strategy instructions on the spot while watching actual footage of the game. If we used it with drones, we could film the game from the sky, which could, in turn, be used to review formations. We were excited to exchange new ideas. The owner of FC KAZO was aware that football teams in other countries were already utilizing such technologies to strengthen their teams, so he was interested in our products. As part of the partnership, we were able to display our products at the youth soccer tournament in the summer of 2019.

 

What type of reactions did you get to the product display at the soccer tournament?

Takashi:
We tried displaying the products outdoors for the first time at the soccer tournament in July 2019 for the 5th grade kids. Experiencing the products made the kids very happy. They were fascinated by our pen tablets and kept touching them until the coach came over to tell them to stop. It was really fun.

Yoshinori:
Everybody really enjoyed themselves. All the kids – even from different teams – got along with each other as soon as they started drawing. The hands-on corner was a great place to hang out and enjoy activities with friends. Since it was the first time we exhibited our products outdoors, we ran out of electricity after a while. That was an unexpected turn of events.

Takashi:
We had taken about six pen displays with us, but, as a result of the electricity shortage, we were only able to display two of them. It was too windy to put up a signboard and the sun was strong, so we had to get creative when it came to figuring out where we could display the products so they could easily be seen. But a lot of kids came out to experience our products. They were expressing themselves not only by drawing pictures but also by writing letters. They were very passionate about drawing.

Yoshinori:
They had never heard of Wacom before so we wanted them to experience the products to the fullest, but unfortunately, we just couldn't get enough electricity.

 

What are your goals for the future?

Takashi:
I'd like to build a better relationship with FC KAZO and to be more involved in this project as a Wacom employee and also as an individual. Next time we will be exhibiting our products at a larger tournament. We also plan to welcome the new team members to this project team.

Yoshinori:
It would be interesting if the team members in other departments, such as the development team, joined this project. I would like to spread the word about the activities among our colleagues at Wacom. I also hope we can use this opportunity to get the people in Kazo City to know more about our products and use them. I would like to keep working for Kazo City, a beautiful place where our head office is located.

Takashi:
There's also FC KAZO's "Seven Year Plan"! If it goes well, they may be one of the top teams in the J-League in seven years.

Yoshinori:
I would love to see the "Seven Year Plan" come true. It would be great if we worked with FC KAZO to develop the team and the local community in the future.

 

 

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